Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

PM2/Hwy1 gets an Environmental Certificate

with 4 comments

The masochists among you can read the grisly details at http://www.eao.gov.bc.ca/projects/port_mann1/index.html

Which simply demonstrates that BC does not have an Environmental Assessment process worthy of the name.

The decision was always a foregone conclusion. There has yet to be a single EA in BC that has stopped a project. And when the government is judge and jury in its own case, and government employees know what is expected of them, there really was never any doubt about the outcome. Did anyone ever read any of those letters and emails?

At a time when due solely to rising oil prices, use of cars for personal transportation is declining and demand for transit far exceeds supply, the decision to proceed with a freeway expansion will be seen as acting in defiance of common sense. The major issue currently facing humans is that our recent exponential increase in fossil fuel use is not only not sustainable, but is actually threatening our survival as a species. The government of BC likes to pretend it is “green” and has introduced a carbon tax which, in comparison to real increases in fuel costs, is trivial. Gordon Campbell also likes to champion daft ideas like the “hydrogen highway” as if that will make the slightest bit of difference when there is no hydrogen car currently available and the only likely ones are those mandated by and for government use. You can’t buy one and you certainly could not use it as a daily commuter if you could.

At the same time workable solutions to traffic congestion and rising transit demand have been around for years. They do not have the glitz and glamour to make them good photo opportunities for self admiring premiers. They just happen to work. But they will be ignored, just like every other proposal that has been put forward for sensible policies for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. BC’s first Greenhouse Gas Action Plan was simply ignored. Filed away and forgotten about. The team that wrote it dispersed. It had 48 proposals every one of which had a pay back period of two years or less. With not a single ribbon cutting opportunity.

We can now look forward to a continuing period of BC working to encourage suburban sprawl and car use, while the rest of the world is mostly making better choices.

And the only people to blame for this are the BC Liberals. For it is not as if they have not been told, very firmly and clearly, how obvious the falsehoods, how risible the justifications – and how futile the effort will be. Future generations – if there are any – will lokk back at tis time and ask “What on earth were they thinking?” and the answer is easy. They think there friends in the development business stand to make a fortune. Frankly, I doubt it. Not when gas now is near $1.50 a litre and going higher.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Gateway

4 Responses

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  1. All we can hope for now is that a P3 is unable to start right away and with luck, come may 2009 we vote the liberals out.
    I have said this many times, the Campbell led goverment is accountable to no one,the EA was as stated,a forgone conclusion.

    I would like to say,I`m sorry for getting all worked up,I sometimes tend to rant but –This bunch drives me to it,
    There is zero democracy with this corporate goverment,as well we are another step closer to being a police state with the security and gates and ID scanners planned for skytrain, I am sure that will not go well in attracting more ridership.

    The evergreen line won`t be happening either,Translink will have their hands full pretending to be in charge of the gateway project.

    I hope all those in favour of the gateway enjoy a half decade or more of gridlock,road disruptions,construction delays and tolls controlled by a private operator.

    grant g

    June 12, 2008 at 9:41 pm

  2. Wouldn’t you know it. The two issues I have been following closely: copyright and Gateway. On the same day. *sigh*

    Geof

    June 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

  3. Quickly scanning through the Project Assessment Report, you wouldn’t even know that the Environmental Assessment Office is separate from the Ministry of Transportation. Ministry of Transportation claims are parroted as fact in the report (i.e. “Due to the congestion, there has not been bus transit service over the bridge for 20 years.”)

    Bert

    June 12, 2008 at 11:36 pm

  4. Very interesting, I wouldn`t think that an enviromental assessment would base any part of their decision or report about transit going over the bridge,I suppose when the EA gets to the burns bog issue they will say the same thing, ” There is no trucks or transit thats gone through the bog in many years”

    Why doesn`t the BC LIBERALS just tell us all to go hell ,well do what we want,why do we have to play this charade, I wonder what DAVID SUZUKI thinks about this one.

    grant g

    June 12, 2008 at 11:51 pm


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